Colonizing Planets other than Earth Essay

Colonizing Planets other than Earth Essay

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Earth has a population of more than six billion people. As this number continues to grow, the populated land masses fill up, and it seems that eventually they will all be overcrowded. Certain areas are already showing this overpopulation, such as large American cities including Los Angeles and New York City. Some countries do not suffer from overcrowding due to high population, but to a high ratio of population to resources. As the natural resources of an area are depleted, the quality of life of the people who live there decreases. If the human race is to prosper as a whole, there must be enough resources to support the global population. In order to support our increasing population, we must learn to harness new resources.

Some scientists are considering the possibilty of learning to inhabit other planets. This plan includes a process called terraforming, which is defined as "transforming a planet into something resembling the earth, especially as regards to human habitation." This is widely thought of as "Science Fiction" - but 50 years ago so was just about everything that is commonplace today.



What alternatives do we have? Are there any planets out there that are like enough to earth that they could be so transformed?

The body most commonly thought of in association with terraforming is Mars. There are several reasons Mars is looked upon favorably. The gravity on Mars is about 0.38 g, compared to 1 g on Earth. It is believed that humans could live in such a gravity without any side effects like bone shrinkage. The day on Mars is about 24.5 hours, compared to 24 hours on Earth. This means that there wouldn't be any agricultural problems relating to day length. There are large quantities of rust (FE203) which woul...


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...sing the temperature by 10 K to start this whole process wouldn't be enough to create a comfortable climate. The savage dust storms on Mars will still exist, as well as some carbon dioxide. It seems there are many different ideas for what sort of material would be required to construct a usable biodome. Over the years people have speculated over the use of glass, metal, plastic, etc.

It is speculated that once the process of terraforming is begun, it will take decades to complete. With the technology we have available to us today, the scientific community is divided as to whether it will ever be possible.

Works Cited:

On To Mars! http://www.geocities.com/marsterraforming

The Nine Planets http://www.nineplanets.org

Red Colony http://www.redcolony.com

Nasa http://www.nasa.gov

The Terraforming Information pages http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~mfogg

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